Last night I had a conversation with Peter regarding our upcoming trip to St. Petersburg. Russia. Not Florida.
I’m nervous about this trip because I firmly believe that there are only going to be seven people in the entire city of St. Petersburg who speak English and I’m not going to be able to eat because I can’t communicate with anyone but these seven people. Also, the Russian alphabet is crazy.
Me: “What’s the plan for tomorrow night”?
Peter: “You don’t want to know because it sets the tone for the entire trip”.
Me: “Great. I’d still like to know though”.
Peter: “Sergei told me that he changed his flight and that he’s now arriving at 12:30am and we’ll head out to the bar for drinks between 1:30am and 2am. I said, ‘Do you know who you are talking to?’ And Sergei said, ‘It’s Vhite Nights. You von’t even know it’s 2am. In fact, it vill feel more like 11pm to you vith da time change'”.
“White Nights” is the phenomenon that occurs in the northern-most cities on Earth when the tilt of the Earth causes 24-hour daylight. St. Petersburg is a couple of weeks away from the full 24-hour daylight thing but we will only have daylight for about 21 hours when we are visiting.
Me: “I am usually in bed by 11pm, so, it sounds like we are on our own tomorrow night”?
Peter: “Well, Sergei gave me a Russian bat phone and he’s going to call me when we land. Also, his friend, Marina, may not be picking us up at the airport as she is not feeling well so we may need to take a taxi”.
Me: “Marina is/was going to pick us up”?
Peter: “Actually, Marina manages a string quartet and they have a driver and the driver is/was going to pick us up”.
Me: “Is Marina going to accompany the driver if she is feeling better”?
Peter: “I think so but I’m not sure”.
Me: “Alright. Do they speak English at the restaurants”?
Peter: “I don’t know but Sergei said that I should not worry about restaurants because his recommended restaurants are so good that we’ll eat there multiple times. Also, Sergei’s friend Max is joining us. So, we’ve got Sergei, Dario, Dario’s wife, Al, Marina, Max, Max’s wife and us and maybe another one of Sergei’s friends”.
Me: “Oh, ok. This is quite the group”.
Peter: “I also asked Sergei, ‘What happens if Camie doesn’t want to take shots?’ and Sergei said, ‘Vell, you can mix voodkah vith orange juice or you can mix it with cranberry juice. You can mix voodkah vith a lot of juices, actually. No problem'”.
Me: “Wow. Sergei sounds wise beyond his years”.
Peter: “Are you ready for tomorrow? Dario visited St. Petersburg with Sergei last year and he doesn’t remember any details. All he remembers is that the trip was ‘a very good time.’ I guess he spent some significant time puking”.
Me: “Oh, that sounds lovely. The only time in my life when I would have considered myself ready for this trip was when I was 21 years old”.
Finally, a quick introduction to our Russian tourist mates.
Also included in our group but never photographed with the group is Al.Click here for the next post in the ongoing Russia saga.